Uber, Odors and Stars

service May 04, 2021

Have you ever jumped into a cab only to hear the taxi driver’s favorite music playing loudly on the radio? What if, perhaps, this style of music is not your favorite? What if you need to make an important phone call to a customer? Is it appropriate to ask the driver to turn off the radio, lower the volume or change the station? On a recent personal trip, I utilized Uber to arrange for a pickup in a location where cabs were not prevalent. The system worked perfectly until I stepped into the vehicle, where I was blasted with a strong sense of smoke. Pressed for time and without other immediate options, I decided to stick with the ride.

I opened the windows and allowed some fresh air into the car. About 10 minutes into the ride, as my discomfort grew (I get horrible headaches from cigarette smoke), I mentioned to the driver that “someone must have smoked in here.” He glanced at me in the rearview mirror and admitted he had smoked. He said he had all the windows open when he did it and felt it didn’t smell inside. He then proceeded to spritz an incredibly fragrant, sweet spray that, combined with the original odor, almost made me get sick to my stomach.

The gentleman apologized and said he wished he could stop smoking. When we arrived at my destination, without prompting and to my surprise, he offered me cash as an apology for my discomfort as he had no flexibility adjusting the fare through the system. While I was not pleased with the experience, I thanked him for his honesty and for his attempt to correct and improve a situation. I did not feel it was appropriate to accept the cash and rather encouraged him to be safe and be considerate of his passengers.

Once I departed the vehicle, I was asked to offer him a rating (1 to 5 stars). How many stars would you have given him?

MPD: Be considerate of others, as it’s not always about you.